Oh No, What Did I Do?


IMovie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week the landscape man cut the cable to my house, and forced me to look for non-internet avenues of entertainment. Thankfully, the cable provider came out early Monday morning to repair it. By that time, however, I had amused myself with copious quantities of file management activities on the unconnected computer. File management is not my forte, yet I love to look into files that neatly organized. During the past few months I have been diligently converting my old 8mm home movies into viewable videos. Step one involved converting the real film into video. During my brief career as a home movie producer, I shot ten thousand feet of super eight film. That amounts to ten hours of viewing pleasure. The second step transferred the master DVD into a program called iMovie.

I am an amateur when it comes to dealing with new programs, and I fumble through the steps until something finally happens. It is only after many trials that I understand how things work, and the process feels comfortable. During those critical steps to find the comfort zone, I decided to  attack file management with a vengeance.

There are ten projects in my development file and some still need a few hours to complete. Thankfully, I converted four of the films into DVD’s. The remaining six projects are still development files. My movie editing during this period left me with too many saved files cluttering my document file. I attacked the doc file, and trashed movie clip-files which I felt were no longer needed. When completed, I had a tightly organized file structure that made great sense.

This week, after the cable repair, and catching up on my internet activities, I dove into the movies again.

I opened a project titled “Chuck and Ann’s Anniversary Waltz.” This film is among my favorites, and I poured my heart and soul into making something special for my kids. It is the only roll of film I did not shoot. It belonged to my deceased wife Barb. She had a neighbor do the shooting at a party she threw for her parents. Barb didn’t have a projector to view this film, and only saw it a few times. After we married and my filming career began, the film format changed to super eight and I didn’t have a projector to show it with either.

The movie opened normally, the still  pictures and titles came on, and then disaster struck. None of the real movies were there. There were images there, but  no moving pictures. Later I realized these are thumbnails. The movie clips were no longer associated, and were in trash where I had moved them when cleaning house.

My search became a panic. None of the file names or file nomenclature were recognizable to me. I didn’t know enough to understand what was what. There must be an easier way, yes, move to Time Machine and ‘restore’ to a previous point in history. Alas, I found some of the clips, but not all. On a positive note I did learn how to recover from backups, but obviously not well enough to find everything. After hours of searching without success, the decision to reload from the master DVD’s became my last option.

The next lesson learned was that multi-tasking on the computer while the transfer process is going on is not a good thing because not all the clips transferred. It took multiple attempts to reach success, and I kept from touching the computer while the transfer took place..

Finally, at one a.m. after sixteen hours,  “Chuck and Ann’s Anniversary Waltz” was back and working.

Sometimes tidying things up a bit is not the smartest use of time.